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The night of 12th September started off fairly clear but with a bright Moon that would dictate the position and type of object that I could image. Having set up my imaging run though, I noticed that the Moon had disappeared behind a thick and developing cloud layer which did not bode well for the rest of the session! However, Cepheus remained clear so I started the session and hoped for the best. This turned out to be a reasonable decision as I managed 9 x 1200 second subframes before the cloud killed the session and my observatory shut down automatically. Luckily, a call of nature at 3:30 in the morning alerted me to clear skies again so I restarted the session capturing a further 3 x 1200 second subframes. Close inspection of the data showed that 11 of the frames were good with a 12th one clearly covered in a layer of cloud so it was rejected! My chosen object was the Wizard Nebula also known as Sharpless 142. Sh2-142 is a diffuse nebula rich is Ha and OIII emissions that surrounds the open star cluster NGC 7380. The cluster itself was discovered by Caroline Herschel on 7th August, 1787 and is a developing cluster, which means that it has ongoing star formation. The cluster and its nebulous cloud lie over 7,000 light years away in the constellation of Cepheus at RA: 22h47m 18.0s DE:+58°08'00". Image Details Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8 Filter: Baader 7nm Ha Telescope: William Optics FLT 98 Mount: Mesu 200 Exposures: 11 x 1200 sec Ha Processing: MaxIm DL and PhotoShop CS3
Last night was the first relatively clear night here for some time so despite the slight mistiness, I had a go at imaging the Wizard Nebula. The classification NGC 7380 really applies to the young star cluster (3.8 million years old!) associated with this nebulous region that lies approximately 7,500 light years away in the constellation of Cepheus. A better classification for the region of nebulosity is SH2-142 from the Sharpless catalogue. The nebulosity responds well to imaging in Ha, OIII and SII so is often displayed in the popular Hubble Palette which, depending on sky conditions in the next few weeks, may well be the direction in which I take this image. NGC 7380 was discovered by Caroline Herschel on 7th August, 1787. Mount: Mesu 200 Telescope: Sky-Watcher Esprit 150 ED Pro Flattener: Sky-Watcher Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8 Guiding: SX LodeStar Filters: Baader 7nm Ha Subframes: 18 x 1200 sec Ha Control: CCD Commander Capture: MaxIm DL Post-Processing: MaxIm DL and PS3
Another Swedish-Norwegian collaboration with Ole Alexander Ødegård (aka Xplode). This is my DSLR (Canon 60Da) RGB image with a 5" ES Apo refractor (22x600" ISO1600) from October, posted previously, but now with his additional Ha data from September taken with a Canon 6D mono modded and a TS 12" imaging Newtonean (10x600" ISO1600). Among other things the Ha brought out much more dust and made the background nicer. I tried to do it with a soft touch. Any comments and suggestions welcome (click on it or it looks quite blurry)
I have done some nebula hopping (Western Veil, Cave, Flying Horse / Wizard and Crescent) during the recent clear nights 3 - 5 October. Now clouds are back and I post what I have got. All with the ES 127 ED apo and Canon 60Da on the EQ8 mount. About 3 - 4 hours of data except for the Cave that only got an hour. Should collect some Ha for them.
Captured over several nights in August. One night of reasonable seeing but very twinkly on the others. Scope: 10" LX200 ACF reduced to F7.5 Camera: QSI 532 wsg Filters: Baader 7nm Ha 22 x 1800secs OIII 12 x 1800 secs. I also got a little RGB star colour data using an MN190 and SX M26. Captured, calibrated and combined with Maxim and processed in PS with the OIII mapped to both green and blue. I did gather about 3 hours of binned SII but preferred the more realistic appearance of the bicolour. Hubble Palate version available on request!
After imaging with a DSLR for several years, I finally took the plunge and rinsed my savings on a shiny new Atik 428ex, thereby almost tripling my total ever expenditure on the hobby! I'm still having [http://stargazerslou...pacing/]trouble with spacing, so if anyone out there has ever connected a CCD to a coma corrector, I'd appreciate any help! Currently I have managed to reach focus using a shorter T2 extension, but the spacing isn't right. Anyway, very pleased with the camera itself. Very nicely made and it is a joy to use with the supplied capture software. Also, a single 10m sub was less noisy than my entire 28x10m stack of the same target with my DSLR! Even though only 10 subs, I stacked in sigma mode to remove the hot pixels. Is this a bad idea? How do I go about creating a hot pixel map instead? My processing leaves a little to be desired, I think, particularly with regards to the stars... And I will return for more data, this being one of my all-time favourite targets! 10x10m Ha, Atik 428ex at -5C SW 150PDS Vixen GP And here it is bodged together with my existing colour (55x2m) taken with my 450D For comparison, here is the Ha taken with my DSLR last year... quite a difference!